First a little on Star Wars...

Moyers & Campbell on Star Wars’ Mythological Influences: In this clip from The Power of Myth — Bill Moyers’ groundbreaking conversations with mythologist Joseph Campbell — Campbell draws parallels between Star Wars and mythological themes of heroism, spiritual adventure, and the actions of man. Released in 1988, The Power of Myth was one of the most popular TV series in the history of public television, and continues to inspire new audiences.

Star Wars & The Matrix ARE Examples Of Modern Mythology

In Joseph Campbell's book Creative Mythology he shows through examples how similar ideas and constellations of ideas, in our age, are reinterpreted and retold by various people in different ways. 

The Matrix and Star Wars are modern retellings of age old cultural truths (i.e. views of the world that many different cultures seem to hold in common). Which is why they can capture attention and spawn a whole culture of their own.

"The spiritual elements in the Matrix films are similar to those in The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars in that they're vital to our understanding of the films and what they are trying to say about ultimate questions," says Greg Garrett, co-author of The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in The Matrix. "There are a number of comparisons to Christ, not least in that Neo is killed and comes back to life."

For those less religiously inclined, the movie had plenty of literary references, including Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; Morpheus offers to show Neo "just how deep the rabbit hole goes." Comic book fans were quick to notice the influence of Captain America illustrator Jack Kirby in several action sequences.

Here are some mythological references in The Matrix Trilogy:

"You can read as deeply into the movies as you want and take something new each time," says Moss, who reprises her role as Trinity, Neo's love interest and a soldier in the war to protect Zion, the last bastion of humanity. "You can sit back and enjoy the action, or you can watch it five times in a row to get all of the religious references."

And there are plenty. Matrix made its mark with special effects, namely "bullet-time," the slow-motion trick in which the camera twirls 360 degrees around its subject to turn fistfights into kung fu ballets. But the film was really an amalgam of religious faiths disguised as an action flick.

The themes and references may seem lofty, but it's a time-tested formula for Hollywood, which has embraced mythological and archetypal figures since the heyday of the Western.

Some Modern "Pop" Mythology Parallels In The Matrix

Learn more about modern mythology from my Star Wars Mythology based website "Become A Jedi"

The following are links to pod-casts of an interview that Bill Moyers did with Joseph Campbell a year before he died:

Podcast: Joseph Campbell on Sacrifice and BlissListen in as Bill Moyers and mythologist Joseph Campbell discuss the role of sacrifice in myth — including a mother’s sacrifice for her child — and the need for all of us to find our sacred places in the midst of today’s fast-paced world.

Released in 1988, The Power of Myth was one of the most popular TV series in the history of public television, and continues to inspire new audiences.

Podcast: Joseph Campbell and the First Storytellers: Listen in as Bill Moyers and mythologist Joseph Campbell discuss the importance of accepting death as rebirth as in the myth of the buffalo and the story of Christ, rites of passage in primitive societies, the role of mystical Shamans, and the decline of ritual in today’s society. Released in 1988, The Power of Myth was one of the most popular TV series in the history of public television, and continues to inspire new audiences.
Podcast: Joseph Campbell and ‘The Message of the Myth’Listen in as Bill Moyers and mythologist Joseph Campbell compare creation myths from the bible and elsewhere, and talk about how religions and mythologies need to change with time in order to maintain their relevance in peoples’ lives.

Released in 1988, The Power of Myth was one of the most popular TV series in the history of public television, and continues to inspire new audiences.

Listen in as Bill Moyers and mythologist Joseph Campbell begin their groundbreaking and timeless conversation with an exploration of the classic hero cycle, including consistent and enduring hero patterns in literature, real life, and even the Star Wars films. Campbell also encourages the audience to view parts of their own lives as heroic journeys.

Released in 1988, The Power of Myth was one of the most popular TV series in the history of public television, and continues to inspire new audiences.

Mythological Storytelling in Cartoons?

I made a section of Bugs Bunny cartoons that had mythological elements in it for fun. Begins here: Knighty Knight Bugs  
Many years ago, when I was still studying to become an educator, I used to marvel how despite the fact that most people had children, and despite the billions of parent-child relationships already experienced thus far by the civilized human race, no one until Jean Piaget, researching in Switzerland, ever really looked at his own children. (Piaget, subsequently all the rage in American educational circles, was not even a psychologist; he was a biologist, trained to observe, and his first papers were records of his observations on the behavior of oysters!)All those billions of parent-child relationships, I used to marvel, yet only one looked closely at what's right there in front of everyone! What else, I mused, could we be overlooking today that's equally common to experience?

I used to rhetorically pose that question to my students, back in my college-teaching days, but never really paid it much heed until much later when other, similarly obvious/overlooked matters made themselves apparent. One such discovery (or re-discovery, it seems) has to do with something even more common-to-experience than are children: the breath—your breath.

What a shock to realize that, in retrospect, every experience and every kind of experience has its own breathing pattern attached to it. Not just physically exerting experiences, but intellectual, aesthetic and emotional experiences as well. We all breathe differently when glad, sad, bad, mad, bored, frustrated, relieved, happy, having an insight, experiencing beauty, giving or receiving affection, thinking well of ourselves or poorly, when things are going well or badly for us, and so on!

In retrospect, the reader will also find this true for himself or herself. So much so, in fact, that most of us will discover that each of us has unconsciously been steering our own interactions with other people according to the changes in those other people's breathing that we unconsciously detect!

The significance of this discovery, other than its being such a universal of human experience, is that human affairs and human organisms are so intra-active that no human situation is only one-way cause-and-effect. Not only do various types of experience cause various types of breathing; various types of breathing can be used to predispose various types of experience!

You may use your breath to predispose your system toward:

  • arriving at insights;
  • taking in beauty;
  • getting calm and comfortable about situations which had been bothering you;
  • being well-received by others;
  • being creative;
  • getting clear about problems which had been confusing;
  • getting well . . . and so on.

In a way, this is not a new discovery: Yoga breathing techniques go back thousands of years. But there the basic insight was lost amidst the clutter of detailed trappings which accumulated during its transmission through the centuries of a high but long-ruined civilization.In the 1910s and '20s, the French obstetrician LaMaze observed animals giving birth and abstracted from that a system of relatively painless childbirth based on breathing patterns.

Occasionally, political prisoners and prisoners-of-war, under torture, have reportedly discovered that so long as they were able to keep their breathing slow, calm and deep during that torture, they were able to remain pretty o.k

And since I started talking about the matter, several participants in our workshops have mentioned that they discovered this principle in the dentist's chair—but that it had not occurred to them to apply the same principle and practice to other situations of discomfort elsewhere!

Breathing in the pattern we use when experiencing great relief predisposes our system to become relieved of whatever had been bothering it. Instead of training people in the technical details of moving which ribs whichever way, we find it more effective to use mental images and remembered feelings (to which one responds automatically in the appropriate breathing pattern).

Relief Breathing

Imagine wearing a hot, heavy, clammy, burdensome suit of armor. Really get into imagining that armor, really feel it compressing and weighing ...Now imagine taking off that suit of armor, and make your next breath the first breath you breathe free of that armor ....

For the next minute or so, breathe each breath as if it were the first breath you are breathing free of that suit of armor ...

Now study the differences you feel, deep within your system.—Whatever it was you've felt some need of relief from, your "relief-breathing" pattern has predisposed the automatics of your system toward finding relief from it.

You formed the correct pattern for this purpose (of creating relief), simply by breathing in response to the imagined experience of taking off that wearisome armor.

Next time you experience something worth finding relief from—a hassle, a difficult circumstance, a headache or even illness—reconjure that suit of armor, shuck it as vividly and with as much feeling-experience as you can. And thereby explore what "relief-breathing," working through the automatic response systems of your mind and body, can do for you.

Calm-Breathing Patterns

Breathing in a way associated with profound insight or in the ways associated with profound experience of beauty, can enrich living more than most people could dream is possible. (There is a little of this involved with the "Innate Learning Methods" of Project Renaissance, which help to speed some forms of learning, especially understandings and skills, by a hundred or more times.)Breathing in a calm pattern, with a (real or imagined) deliciously satisfying aroma rewarding each deep slow breath, has the most profoundly calming consequences, not only for dealing with situations, past or present, which until now were distressing or disturbing, but for people whose distresses have generalized to the point where they are emotionally disturbed.

It is this aspect to which we intend to bring the attention of therapists generally, for one of the uses of these simple breathing patterns is to enable people to clear themselves of emotionally involved problems so quickly and easily that it contradicts all current therapeutic experience in such matters, yet which is easily tested for oneself or on volunteers or on patients who have enough attention resources available to follow simple instructions.

A calm-breathing pattern we have named noise-removal breathing is an easy way to get comfortable with any pain, discomfort or distress, present or past. Scripts instructing in "noise-removal breathing" will follow, and can also be found in various other readily available Psychegenic publications, presenting step-by-step the ways we have thus far found best for enabling two totally inexperienced individuals to train each other in the skill.In the form of the procedure given later, one totally inexperienced individual, working wholly alone, can readily train hirnself in the skill. Once "noise removal breathing" has been made so practiced in experience that it is virtually reflex, it can serve as a very superior form of anaesthetic (or, if chemical anaesthesia has been used, this breathing pattern can very rapidly clean up the resultant damage and after-effects).

Cleaning up emotionally involved difficulties (and sometimes physical ills created by those difficulties) is a broader experience common among various graduates of our earlier workshops of the 1970s and 1980s, in which we were training such patterns.

Repeat orders for the book, Beyond O.K., which contains the most detailed published scripts of instructions for such breathing patterns, have come from some therapists and clinics, and from various groups of their patients. One reason why: the breath is part of the "automatic" response system of your body. You've been breathing all this time since you started reading these pages, for example, without your consciously having to "make it go." Yet, your breathing is also part of your "voluntary" response system in that you can deliberately, intentionally, breathe high, low, front, back, left. right, fast, slow, or whatever. In other words,

Your breath is a bridge connecting across to the automatic response system of your body, through which you may communicate with and direct the various "automatic" response systems of your body.

Several interesting hypotheses suggest themselves at this point:

 Could a major part of the reward and comfort of smoking, for cigarette smokers, merely be the breathing pattern induced by that act? After all, millions of non-smokers are constantly exposed to smokers' nicotine clouds without becoming addicted thereby. One wonders if certain select patterns of breathing might contribute to a more effective way of stopping a habit not as chemically addictive as we had been led to believe? Could bakery aromas, vanilla, mint, and other pleasing smells, piped in close-order succession over and over again through a hospital's ventilation system, improve chances and speed recovery in patients through the changes those aromas would induce in patients' breathing patterns?

 Could the main stress of air pollution be not so much the chemical insult to the system as the breathing patterns which the foul air induces? —Short, high, shallow breathing is physiologically almost identical to that of chronic tension, anxiety, discomfort, repulsion and constant relentlessly restless activity.

Not only do mind and brain run every process of the body; the processes of the body affect brain and mind. A good example of how body processes run brain and mind is in the instance of extreme stage fright—an anxiety so pervasive that consciousness narrows down to pre-occupation with minutiae and scant awareness is available to the victim with which to deal with the vast remainder of the situation.At the other extreme is the experience and response-repertoire of the person who, unlike most people, has gotten "beyond O.K.," who has gotten comfortable with most of the matters which previously, unconsciously, had been bothering him. This excellent-feeling, highly competent, zestful and creative state of being is easy and swift to attain through use of the breath.

If one is agoraphobic, for example, afraid of open spaces, he can hold to a calm breathing pattern while dealing directly with (or even just thinking directly about) being out-in-the-open! We have found that no matter what is going on (with the occasional possible exception of bronchitis and/or other such respiratory difficulties, of course), one can keep one's breathing slow, calm, deep and deliberate and rewarding (or in whatever other pattern, for that matter).

Panic, pain or other distress or undesirable emotion simply cannot co-exist for long in the same psychological space, or frame of reference, with such calm breathing. The breathing can be kept going. The distress has to go away. And it does!

Once one has developed several of these calm-breathing patterns to the point where these are sheer reflex, one can "go in after" anything and everything which had been a source of distress, face each such present or past distress directly for several minutes while continuing this calm-breathing—and apparently free oneself entirely and permanently of discomfort in relation to each such confronted experience. For this purpose the best two thus far known are the patterns, presented in this column next month, which we call noise-removal breathing and satisfaction breathing.

Behaviorists will contend that such breathing simply reconditions the responses of the system relative to the once-distressing stimulus. NLPers may recognize an especially powerful form of "anchoring."

Other branches of therapy and psychology may contend that there are other reasons why such simple breathing patterns can be used for such profound effects. Discharge therapies such as "Primalling," for example, may find (if they can surmount their conviction that one must really re-suffer in order to get well!) that this "noise-removal breathing" literally removes distresses as if such distress were a form of noxious substance clogging up the system.

In information systems—and the human organism itself is an information system—"noise" acts in ways precisely, mathematically, structurally identical to such an interfering substance. And in our own thinking, as in information science, distress is a major form of "noise."

Analytic and/or insight-based therapies will contend that the calm breathing is a way to bridge gaps in internal communications without the customary emotional pyrotechnics, and that in any case it is the bridging of those gaps with insights which enables the system to normalize its flows and functions and levels of development.

(Editorial prefix, added 2009:)
"We breathe the way we feel, and we feel the way we breathe!"

The way we breathe, builds the associated state. Continuing that and maintaining or building that state while focusing on a situation, re-conditions that situation to fit that felt state. A third thing that breathing does is to enable you to redirect the autonomic processes of your system, an interesting point of leverage from which to clear away obstacles to clear and vivid perception, understanding, optimal health or optimal outcomes - by the physical metaphors I've suggested for such purpose, later in this article, in the next winsights article following this one, and in winsights articles #s 698298, and 106 later in this column. Each of these points bears a lot of major consequences, once you think things through.... 

Next month: The conclusion of this special two-part series on use of the Calm-Breathing Patterns. We will present here the special step-by-step directions for each of the several key patterns, free for you and anyone anywhere to make effective use of—to make better and more productive your own immediate experience, and your entire lifetime!

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Win Wenger

This brief may be freely copied—in whole, but not in part, including its copyright notice—for use with people whom you care about.
In March, we introduced you here to the basic nature of the "Calm-Breathing Patterns" and gave you a working example of the particular pattern of "Relief Breathing."We explored a little of how breathing, which you can do deliberately, is also part of the automatics of your body. Thus, your breathing is a bridge communicating between your conscious actions and intention and the other automatics of your body. Heartbeat, biochemistry and psychochemistry, Including the organs, the very tissues and even the individual cells, as you will see later in this briefing, you can effectively enhance and communicate with and even redirect if need be. The combination of breathing pattern, imagery, and focussed physical remembered (or imagined) sensation, allows you to do some remarkably helpful things within your own body and mind.

Your mind, brain and body are a closely linked organic whole. Everything within the organism has bearing on and affects, and is affected by, everything else within that organism.

Stress and tension

One example of body-mind-brain interplay is to imagine—as clearly and vividly as you can—standing on some narrow precarious ledge 40 floors up. Picture and feel that precarious-ledge situation as absolutely as you can. ... Now feel for where that experience is stressing in your body ...

Now let go that feeling, of course. If that feeling had been allowed to remain "locked in" to those stressed parts of the body, you would be going around feeling precarious, and possibly finding various reasons why this or that situation was disquieting.

But, in point of fact, nearly everyone has, locked into their bodies, some counterparts of precarious-ledge experience. Guilt, fear, or even some physical hurt are stored so continuously that it isn't even noticed, yet keeps on shaping our ongoing experiences (and even our very bodies!), creating situations of self-fulfilling prophecy and producing the various other major and minor maladjustments which flesh/mind is prone to.

Relieving stress, raising human potential

One of the things our book Beyond O.K. teaches is how to focus breathing patterns on stressed areas of the body to remove the chronic tension patterns of being frozen on that ledge.

There is far more to this matter of breathing/self-reconditioning, and of breathing generally, than we ourselves can hope to get around to investigating any time soon. (We also face a similar problem with each of a dozen other major tracks of discovery.) Researchers, and qualified therapists of whatever discipline, are urged to contact us, both for operational information on processes and programs which can be used for therapeutic purposes, and for suggested areas needing further research.

Meanwhile, what you are pulling onto your screen here, in the passages immediately following, represents a fair start, useful in many directions besides those of healing and therapy.

The following is not a therapy as such. We are not interested in practicing therapy, however much some of its processes may be usefully turned in that direction. We in Project Renaissance orient on upward human potential rather than on just patching people up to OK. Nowadays, the best consulting with the aid of these and related techniques is available through coaching by phone:  contact George Copsey. Also, Steve Goldstone (212-663-2910) and Tony Pizur (607-754-8671) are trained professional practitioners who work with these breathing and related techniques. Meanwhile, anyone who wishes to can learn more of the system from the bookBeyond O.K.

"Calm-Breathing Patterns" is a set of step-by-step instructions to do. Like the energy instructions in the same above-mentioned book, and like others of our protocols published elsewhere, the value of the following is in the doing and experiencing, not in whatever mere information is written here.

All information is subject to error, including whatever information you find here. Only your own experience is fully worth trusting. Creating key sectors of your experience is what this work is all about. These are the step-by-step instructions for creating a very special set of experiences and skills.

(Allow yourself a good uninterrupted half-hour.)

Basic Calm-Breathing

You can conduct yourself through this protocol from the printed instructions. Or you can work with someone else as a partner, taking turns guiding each other through. Or you may prerecord these instructions onto tape and follow them as the tape plays back. In pre-recording a tape, or in guiding a group with these instructions, replace each of the questions with the instruction to "Notice ..... " whatever is being asked about. Allow 2-3 seconds' pause after each phrase or sentence, long enough for the instruction to be followed or the indicated experience experienced.1. Begin with a good deep stretch ....

2. For perhaps five minutes, breathe in very deeply, slowly, taking six seconds or longer to do so. And breathe out likewise very deeply, slowly, taking six seconds or longer ... all one continuous breathing in and breathing out six seconds or longer each way ... savor the long, slow, deep, calm, luxurious passage of each breath ... with each breath out, from all over see how much more you can let go .....

3. Breathe as deeply as you can, not only on inhale but exhale. So deeply on the exhale that you get your lungs as empty as you possibly can, then from those empty lungs blow out an imaginary candle a foot in front of your face—that's how deeply to exhale ...

4. Then smoothe all that out so it's all one smooth, calm, deep, continuous, luxurious, almost sensual inhale-exhale-inhale, with each breath out see from all over just how much more you can simply let go ....

5. Use each next breath, if you can, to reach for further ranges of both these effects:  each breath in to feel as much more luxurious as possible than did the previous breath in; with each breath out to discover how much more you can simply let go of than with the previous breath out.Continue this breathing pattern. After 3 to 5 minutes begin studying its effects on the way you feel, while continuing this breathing pattern. Still continuing this calm breathing pattern, now begin to modify it with the images (and feelings) described below, and to study the changes these images automatically cause in your breathing and in the ways you feel...

"Noise-Removal Breathing"

1. With each breath in, begin imagining (even picturing and feeling, if possible) that your air is coming in through the bottoms of your feet, all the way up from there. Breathe in as if you have to pull your air all the way up through ankles, legs and body, up to where you can breathe out through normal channels. (Perhaps picturing a nose in your feet might help, a nostril in the bottom of each foot between mid-arch and toes.) With each breath, breathe in against the pull of your air having to make its way up through the tissues and cells of your feet, ankles, legs and lower body .... Continue for several minutes, examining the effects you feel from this procedure ....

2. Picture or imagine piles of dried leaves or other debris being swirled up with each breath, out of your tissues and cells. Experience this stuff as being swirled up by each incoming breath, swirled up from the breath-swept tissues of your feet, legs and body, and swept up out of you on your deeply exhaled breath. Experience this as vividly as you can, with every breath. Sweep all that stuff cleanly out of you with your breath. (let all these leaves or debris represent all "noise"— tensions, toxins, tiredness, other pollutants which didn't belong there.}

3. As these clouds of "noise" sweep cleanly out of you on your slowly, deeply, calmly exhaled breath, as all this debris hits the open air, see it flaming into showers of bright sparks!

(Even "noise" is energy: there is no such thing as "bad" energy, only congested energy compared to free flowing, useful energy, so that when this stuff is swept from "bad" configurations and hits the open air, it becomes good clean usable life-enhancing energy again.)

Sweep up as much of that stuff as you can with each and every incoming breath, blowtorch out that shower of bright sparks with your breath, deeply and softly breathed out as the flame of a blowtorch, and see how much more, with each breath out, you can fill the space around you with good released energy ...

Continue for some minutes, studying the effects you feel from doing this...

4. Breathe in not only through your feet but through whatever parts of your body come to your attention in this context..... Breathe in against the pull of the air having to come in through the tissues and cells of each such part, swirl up as much "noise" as you can with each breath in; blowtorch out as much released energy in bright hot spark-showers as you can, with each breath ...

(You may find it interesting to make mental note of just which parts of your body do come to your attention in this context, for you to breathe in through and to thereby swirl up and remove even subliminal "noise" from....)

Continue for several minutes, studying the effects you feel from this pattern of breathing and imaging.

5. In the same manner, use your breath to breathe up and away whatever could have in the slightest stood belween you and even more profound levels of relaxed awareness. Continue this breathing-goal for several minutes, studying the effects you feel from it ...

(In the same manner, use your breath to sweep up and away any feeling of discomfort, whenever experienced and not just during these exercises. Throughout your life, make it a reflex to respond to any problem, discomfort, difficulty or distress by this deep, slow, calm, releasing, noise-removal breathing. Emphasize breathing slowly when dealing with any distress ... But first, before using this breathing on specific "targets" and problems, get in, over several sessions, a total of at least an hour's worth of this type of breathing, emphasizing the clarity and pleasure aspects especially, to build your general comfort levels.)

For future reference—If and when you like: think back to some situation, relating to problems or difficulties or hurts you have experienced, and "breathe on it" in this manner, drawing up and away any static or negative feelings out of that experience, until you feel perfectly, wholly, comfortable while clearly recalling all aspects of that situation .... )

6. In the same manner, for several minutes before any task, creative work, schooling or performance of whatever nature, picture your goal for that activity and breathe up and away whatever could in the slightest have impeded full swift rich clean attainment of that goal—then go directly into that work and let fly!

7. In the same manner, breathe up and away whatever could in the slightest have impeded your clear, rich perception of beauty or of some insight ....

Yawn Breathing

1. Continue to noise-removal breathe. but let yawns come up if they will. Enjoy.

2. Stretch deeply a time or so and continue noise breathing. This may well either trigger or intensify the yawning—deep. intense, repeated yawns which cleanse out anxiety, fear, all sorts of stuff. Every dozen or so breaths, stretch deeply and luxuriously again, even if you have to force the stretching, to encourage the yawns to come, and continue such stretch-interspersed breathing for as long as the yawns are flowing....

3. Even reflect back on some situation about which you have felt anxious, fearful or even angry, "breathe on that situation" as above until all yawns are exhausted from it....Study the effects of all this yawning on the way you feel about that situation. and on the way you feel generally....

"Blowtorch Breathing"

1. In this same manner, reflect back on some situation about which you have felt anger or annoyance, or some person at whom vou have felt (or should have felt) such irritation .... even some petty annoyance, no matter how unjustified or inappropriate it seems for you to be irritated by such a matter ....

Note the shower of bright, hot sparks riding each deeply exhaled breath out....blowtorch your deeply exhaled breath slowly, see if you can singe the far wall or ceiling with the shower of hot bright sparks riding each breath out....

All this is, of course, good clean life energy, released from whatever had held it in undesired configurations. There is no way to hurt anyone with good clean life energy; what you want to do is to burn up the left-over irritation "noise," burn up the bases of anger between you and that situation or person, burn up the negative frame-of-reference in which you and this situation or person are holding each other ...

2. Picture that situation or person (eventually, each such situation or. person) with which you've felt some such irritation. Shower your sparks on that picture and see what and how much you can burn up with your sparks....really blowtorch that shower of released hot sparks out and let things evolve .....

Examine how much this release changes sensations here and there in your body, see how much you can release into these showers of bright sparks ....

Study the effects of this blowtorching on the way you feel about that situation or person, and on the way you feel generally.....

3. Now project these showers of bright sparks as a way of adding good clean life energy lo whatever/whoever was involved ...make this energy an outright gift, study the way that unreservedly giving this energy to this person or situation now feels to you . . .

lf you feel any hesitancy or reservation whatever, go back and forth between "burning up the pictures" with your hot blowtorch showering sparks, and using those sparks to give the gift of good clean life energy, until you find yourself feeling wholly comfortable and unreserved about the whole thing, or until any remaining formerly suppressed anger releases in laughter.

Rest absolutely for a minute or so, studying your changed bodily sensations and any insights you have gained during this process. Then:

"Satisfaction Breathing"

1. Remember the delicious smell of vanilla. or of some other delicious aroma—bread baking in the oven, pine trees, roast in the oven, lilacs, freshly-mowed lawn, frying onions, some special perfume—remember some delicious aroma and breathe that aroma in deeply ...

2. Breathe in as if you were smelling and sensing that delicious scent, breathe in slowly, deeply and rewardingly as if you were drawing in that wonderful scent .....

As you take these satisfaction-breaths, these deeply-satisfying breaths, discover where in your body this delicious smell seems to come to .... satisfaction-breathe in this delicious aroma until you are clear on where in your body this scent seems to come to ....

3. Now breathe in "through" that part of your body where you felt this aromatic breath come to, breathe in more and more of this delicious aroma through there deeply, slowly, rewardingly—see if, through there, you can fill your whole system with this utterly delicious, rewarding smell.....

Make this aroma still more delicious ... exhilarate your entire system with these utterly rewarding breaths....continue this exhilarating breathing for several minutes.....

"Stairstep Recall "

1. Examine how you now feel .... take a kind of mental photograph of how good and how profound all this feels now .....

With this mental photograph, later you can easily recall what this feels like and come back to this same range of clarity and good feeling just by remembering it .... so then you can do this breathing to go further rather than just to get to the same ranges of effects .... 

2. Study the clear, deep, peaceful, exhilarated feeling you now have from this breathing you've been doing .... Use your memory of this feeling, next time, to re-create this feeling, then use this breathing to go beyond this feeling to even better, cleaner, more profound ranges of experience.....

Notice especially how it feels to have your system so noise-free, so clean, clear, released, so much of the stuff that hadn't belonged simply swept away .... Being so free of "noise" frees your system to re-integrate toward even better health and well-being than before: enjoy it!

3. Reintegrate to here and now—refreshed, clear, feeling extraordinarily good!—and ready to take on whatever is before you.

Did you have any difficulty discovering something you felt anger or annoyance toward? Interestingly enough, most people do. Yet suppressed anger is one of America's (and other modern nations') main source of health problems. Irritation and anger are experienced, to greater or lesser degree, by everyone at various times. It is the long-term suppression of such feelings which causes difficulty. Take the head of steam down on your backlog of annoyances and, after a while, you will no longer need to suppress and can safely express, in situation-specific, appropriate ways, such feelings when and if annoying situations arise. Especially if you had difficulty discovering a time and circumstance in which you had felt anger toward something or someone, search out such earlier experiences in your life and "blowtorch-breathe" at least a few of these until they are free and clean.

Using "Calm-Breathing Patterns" to heighten your career productivity

In any work, before any major task—and before any creative task, especially—noise-removal breathe for several minutes ant then go straight into the work.

Even the first time you do this, results will seem like a miracle. Your work flies straight, true and clean—no false starts, no hesitations, error rate is almost nil. And each time afterward that you do this, it gets even better!

During long tasks, every half-hour or hour, noise-removal breathe for 2 to 3 minutes; the time spent is repaid many, many times by heightened efficiency. (If you need reminding, get a little oven-tlmer and set it to remind you when the time for noise-removal breathing has arrived.)

Many thousands of children are too short of breath to read to or listen through to the end of any of the sentences they must deal with, and consequently they are unable to get the full meaning. (Some of these children are diagnosed variously as "hyperactive" or with "attention deficit disorder.") There are more than enough children who have reading difficulties for other reasons, to ensure job security for all of those who now are entrusted with getting our children to read.

The same problem also affects levels of perception and thinking. If someone is too short-breathed to have a span of awareness in which several different elements can be considered at the same time, there is no way for that person to begin experiencing and thinking in terms of relationships! Such a person is doomed to only the most concrete levels of thinking and experience.

Project Renaissance has drafted a program for profoundly improving breathing span, as a way to address such problems of language-comprehension and perceptual/thinking level. The main part of the program presents held-breath underwater swimming, resulting in ribcage expansion of about one inch per week. To receive this brief for free and know what to do and why and how to do it (and also for some more ways to test to your own satisfaction the validity of this issue), inquire of Win Wenger by email.

it appears that at least half of all high school or college-age persons with serious reading problems are shortwinded, and their reading problems would disappear if their shortwindedness were corrected. Project Renaissance discovered this surprising relationship in 1983, and no contravention of the finding has ever emerged,

Brief Glossary of special processes used

Basic Calm-Breathing Pattern: continuous breathing-in and breathing-out, very deeply on exhale as well as on inhale, very slowly and letting go with each breath—savoring the long deep slow passage of each rewarding breath.Relief Breathing: breathing each breath as if it were that very first, tremendously relieved breath you would breathe freshly freed of a heavy, burdensome suit of armor.

Noise-Removal Breathing: calm-breathing with the images of pulling air in through various parts of the body or sectors of experience, with that incoming air swirling up great clouds of debris ("noise"), sweeping all that stuff cleanly out of your system on your deeply exhaled (and warm, rich) breath—so that stuff becomes showers of bright sparks as it hits air, the open air, and releases into good clean life energy. One of the most important of Psychegenic breathing patterns, noise-removal breathing should be practiced very frequently for cumulative effects of self-cleansing and release.

Yawn Breathing: noise-removal breathing giving way to successions of profound yawns, if need be triggering these yawns by taking a good, deep stretch every 10 to 20 breaths. Yawn-breathing removes fear and some forms of anger.

Blowtorch Breathing: noise-removal breathing and showering the resultant sparks in your exhaled breath, slowly, gently, hotly in a blowtorch stream, upon various pictured situations and/or people, to burn away the bases of anger. Includes built-in bio-feedback testing for left-over anger by examining the feeling of unreserved giving of life-energy to the former anger-stimulus.

Satisfaction Breathing: calm-breathing with the emphasis on the reward of each breath. Use a real or imagined delicious aroma; breathe that satisfying aroma "in through" the part of your body that aroma first seems to come to. An exhilaration technique which prevents or abolishes depression, grief or other "down" feelings and deconditions the stimuli which gave rise to them. One of the more important of Psychegenic breathing patterns, strongly recommended for frequent practice.

Other DefinitionsPsychegenics: "psyche" means "mind-" and "-genics" means "derived from"—hence, Psychegenics is the study of those effects which are produced through and with or by the mind. The opposite of psychegenic is psychogenic, meaning some form of psychosomatic dysfunction. Historically, as a discipline Psychegenics has mostly been engaged in pursuit of higher actualizations of human potential.

"O.K." and "Beyond O.K." refer to the distinction between "average," meaning ordinary, customary, or the condition of most people, and "ænormal," in the health sense of being whole, intact, actualized. Our goal is to leave customary norms behind (after all, even "o.k." is still pretty mediocre) and evolve up toward the more fully actualized.

Stairstepping: to mentally photograph an effect and especially the feeling of that effect, next time to use the remembering of its feeling to re-create the effect, and then to use whatever first built the effect to add on to this re-created effect, going further carrying the effect to even more profound levels.

Innate Learning Methods: methods of learning and teaching which engage resources already innately within the learner—a set of ways to pick up the learning already experienced and bring it into the context of the learner's present learning efforts.

Second-Generation Creativity Methods: as compared to first-generation methods such as brainstorming and Synectics-type methods, which essentially are step-by-step analytic ways, or multiple-response-forcing ways, to compel the pre-conscious to form insights, inventions, and creative solutions to problems and then to force these creative events out into conscious expression. The contrast is that second-generation methods are based on the discovery that the insights and solutions are already there, in a subliminal mental holograph of impressions surrounding every problem, every question, every datum. Second-generation methods reach directly, efficiently and immediately into these mental holographs for such creative insights and solutions and so escape a lot of plodding formerly associated with creativity methods and creativity training.

Modulation: a term from information science, meaning when anything is affected by something else, it carries (potentially retrievable) information about what affected it. Modulation of the wiggly grooves in an LP stereo record disc, for example, carries the information which in play-back becomes a recreation of the music, speech or other sounds which were originally recorded onto those wiggles. After a pebble-toss into a pond, once the ripples have reached throughout the pond and are still active, every particle in the pond carries information about the size, texture, shape, weight, speed, direction, trajectory and position of that pebble, which information potentially can be retrieved. Actually, whatever is affected by something else is modulated by and carries information—potentially retrievable information—about that something else.

Holograph: from laser technology. Bounce a stream of coherent light off some object onto a photographic plate; that plate retains a three-dimensional image of that object and will project that image in 3 dimensions when that laser light shines through the plate. What makes this phenomenon holographic is that if you break the plate, every fragment of that plate will prove to have that entire 3-dimensional image! Every particle of that plate carries the complete record of information. The more profound aspect of this phenomenon is that:
  • Everything is affected by virtually everything else, hence is modulated by virtually everything else, hence carries information about virtually everything else;
  • This information is potentially retrievable;
  • The result is that virtually everything is a holograph of virtually everything else;
  • The finest instrument yet developed for retrieving this holographic information is the right side of the human cerebral cortex.

Email to
Win Wenger

This brief may be freely copied—in whole, but not in part, including its copyright notice—for use with people whom you care about.
Windtunnel has become a favorite process among many of the creativity experts and creative problem-solving professionals who have experienced it during the several years since we invented it. As a result, there are several versions of it floating around among other programs, and as the method evolved we ourselves have published several versions of it. Here is the most up-to-date and, we believe, most effective present working version and now official version of this extraordinarily productive and energizing process, matched only by the version in the new Toolkit CoreBook now about to be published.

Windtunnel works best as a partnered method, or with pairs partnered within a group. Because it gets so lively, it provides a great way to start a conference, colloquium, training group or workshop. Also quite productive, Freenoting works well with pen and notepad, or on a computer keyboard. The full instructions for how to do both are here, adapted from the CoreBook, The Creative Problem-Solving Tool Kit.

With each of these methods will be a section on the rationale or explanation; a brief statement of its purpose; the steps of the procedure itself; and aftermath.

WINDTUNNEL — an especially energizing version of the brainstorming method for ingeniously solving problems.

  1. Explanation:   The problems you and we are attempting to solve now, did not solve based upon what you know about the problem, and if not solved by now despite good efforts, they probably won't solve based upon what you know. There, what you know about the problem is getting in the way between you and the fresh perceptions wherein you will find real solution. Scientific research in brainstorming has demonstrated that the best ideas occur near the end of a brainstorming session, after you've used up what you think you know and still have to keep reaching for more. Both the aptly-named Windtunnel and its counterpart Freenoting as described afterward below are especially strong, rapid ways to use up what you know so that you have to reach out for more. That is when the really interesting ideas start happening.Purpose and General Strategy of Windtunnel:   Contrasted to ordinary discussions, where you usually have to wait your turn to slip in any ideas, with Windtunnel one has to answer on the topic for 12 straight minutes — rapidly, without pause or hesitation! — and generally not repeating yourself. Your listening partner will record elements of your deluge, as described below. The purpose of Windtunnel is to get you, as quickly as possible, to the point where you run out of things to say — and then have to keep going, not letting on that you've run out of things to say! Keep going without relenting until your facilitator calls time. Then you and your partner can compare notes on what you think were the most interesting ideas that happened.

  2. The Procedure:   Everyone will be paired with a partner. Have with you several sheets of paper and a pen or pencil.Determine and write down the question, problem, opportunity or challenge you would most dearly love to find good answer to. (About 2 minutes)

    What are three specific aspects about that issue? Please write these down in turn as questions. See if you can make these three new questions more specific and, if possible, more powerful to ask, than the original question. This in itself is a good start to problem-solving because it has you doing something TO the problem instead of the other way around. It's a start and in itself may get new ideas flowing that you might quickly jot down on the side. Number these three new questions.

    Be with your partner for this occasion. Between you, quickly choose which of you goes first as Listener-Recorder and the other first as Windtunneler.

    Facilitator arbitrarily picks and announces the number of the question the Windtunneler is to answer.

    Windtunneler:   answer in a descriptive rapid-flow torrent, without pause or hesitation, and without repeating yourself much, telling everything that comes to mind in the context of that question. Sustain that flow for twelve minutes without any let-up. When you finally run out of things to say and reach the flounder-around-and-dig stage, keep on going without letting on that you've reached that point. Don't edit or judge, just flow rapidly for the twelve minutes until facilitator calls time.

    Listener:   Be there for your Windtunneling partner, if need be encourage him to continue but don't interrupt or interject your own thoughts. Your main job is to listen, and to jot down two to four of the most interesting ideas you hear going by; not necessarily the best, and not necessarily not the best, just the most interesting ideas. Don't try to capture them all — that effort would only slow your partner down when we really want to keep up the speed — just capture, as best you can out of the torrent, the ideas that are most interesting. (12 minutes or even a little longer, as determined by the Facilitator on how productively things are flowing.)

    Then, for just a half-minute or so, Windtunnelers make notes on what were the most interesting ideas they heard pass their own lips. Listeners consolidate and flesh out their own notes. Windtunneler and Listener compare notes on the most interesting ideas heard between them. (4 to 5 minutes)

    Between you, create a new and more powerful question from the context that you have developed in this experience.

    All notes from this experience belong to the person who Windtunneled. Please transfer these into the Windtunneler's possession.

    Reverse roles — the previous Windtunneler becomes the new Listener, the former Listener becomes the new Windtunneler. Facilitator will announce which question is to be answered this time. Please repeat Steps 4 through 8 so that both of you have both sides of this experience, and both of you have had this chance to gain fresh insights and possible answers on the most important question or challenge of your choice.

  3. Aftermath:   check yourself through on the following questions. Some of them will likely be discussed between you in small groups and/or generally.

    1. Did you get fresh insights and ideas about the issue you worked on? 

    2. Did you feel that your partner was really listening to you, really hearing you? What made you feel that way or the other way? 

    3. If 'B' was positive: How did it feel to you to have someone really hearing you, really listening to you, on a matter that was important to you? 

    4. What do you think might be some of the effects of having someone really hearing you and listening to you on important matters? 

    5. What are some other things one can say or do to cause his partner to feel he's really being heard and listened to?

If you value the effects you cited in D, can you and your small-group teammates fashion a list or prescription? Title of the prescription: "These are the ways to make someone feel really heard and meaningfully listened to."

  • You may be asked to present your list.
  • You might want to make note, at the bottom of your list, for your ownsubsequent use,of an idea or so from what other groups present of their own lists.
  • You might want to experiment with some or all of your list, over the next few days or weeks, with others here in the group with whom you are exploring this method and with others not present here, not only to gain more traction on your own issues but to see what positive effects you can have on others around you.

Our intention with each of these procedures is not only to help you generate fresh ideas, understandings of, and even if possible effective solutions to, one or more of your major challenges. We also have you learning these several methods by experience, hands-on so to speak, so that you can go on surmounting your challenges with these and further tools, long past the walls of this workshop or exploratory group or training group or party today.

Save and keep handy the more powerful question you created from the context you built while you were Windtunneling. You can get to use it with other, different, problem-solving methods, those taught from the Project Renaissance context and/or other methods besides. We have been finding that combining different problem-solving methods is usually well more powerful than any one particular method — and in any case, it is good to have more than one method, one program, in your toolkit ready to use. 

Using Such a Method to Figure Out Things When You Are Alone:

Having an external focus to which to project and describe your thoughts, observations and ideas is crucial to developing your awarenesses. The strongest development of your awarenesses is when you have a live listener really hearing you. If this is a listener you respect, you are on your good behavior in your describing; you don't take short-cuts or slur over aspects; you are stating as fully and clearly as you can to communicate experience and sometimes-subtle perceptions to that meaningful listener, and this focuses you into examining and perceiving those awarenesses more fully and clearly than would otherwise be the case.

The reality of our modern lives, though, has us working alone much of the time, sometimes in conditions which make it more difficult to round up a meaningful listener each time we need one to help us figure things out. Yet you can still use some of the same dynamics as you are experiencing with the Windtunnel method, even without a meaningful, live listener. Use an audio recorder.

An audio recorder is less effective than a live listener, but far better than nothing, and often a lot more conveniently to hand. The difference in effectiveness is made up for by going longer — it takes about sixteen minutes of torrential outpouring into an audio recorder to reach the same point of fresh insights and ideas that you get with a live listener in twelve minutes in Windtunnel. And it takes more self-discipline to keep on going without pauses with that audio recorder than with the meaningful listener there trying to take in what you are saying. It may help you to imagine, or even determine, that you will have some particular person as a meaningful listener listen later to the audio that you are recording — that will help you focus. These sessions do take some effort, as you've discovered with Windtunnel; the time and effort you invest in them you want to be as effective as possible in generating new insights and ideas, so shaping that external focus is very much worth your while.

One other drawback to an audio recorder is retrieval of your data afterward, more difficult than if your meaningful listener were already writing down the high points of your outpouring.

One new advantage would be to HAVE a meaningful listener and to USE an audio recorder at the same time. This would give you extra focus, and you would have also that comparison of notes featured in the partnered Windtunnel along with the convenient retrieval of your data, and you would have the audio besides which you could at leisure play back to capture additional insights from.

Having a meaningful reader can provide you a nice external focus also for developing your awarenesses in whatever context. Some of you are more comfortable writing, privately at your own desk, while others of you are more comfortable speaking aloud as in Windtunnel. Here is a process called Freenoting, which does for writing some of what Windtunnel does for talking... 

FREENOTING — the twin and counterpart of Windtunnel

  1. Explanation:   Like Windtunnel, and like Alex Osborn's original Brainstorming from which both Windtunnel and Freenoting have descended, one gets to the fresh perceptions and insights he needs by working his way past all the knowledge he already has on the challenge, question, problem or topic at hand, using it up by expressing it as fast as he can think of it until that previous knowledge and assumption is all used up. Then, by the effort of keeping going and not letting on that one has reached that flounder-around-and-dig stage, one more readily reaches out and casts in new directions trying to find anything that will help keep that outpouring going.For your ongoing practice, the instructions you have along with your experience from Windtunnel should help you with Freenoting just as your instructions for Freenoting should likely help you with subsequent rounds of Windtunnel. Our concern here is not only to help you solve a meaningful problem or so but to build skills and methods you can take with you and practice further, on as many issues as you find to work on.

    Purpose and General Strategy of Freenoting:   You need to be free to entertain any hypothesis, even if it's one you've come up with yourself, enough at least to check it out. The purpose of Freenoting is to enable you to come up with hypotheses very different from those you ordinarily would coax from already-too-cultivated grounds, to see with fresh eyes a topic or even a field whose very familiarities are preventing you from discovering fresh answers. Freenoting is like a brainstorm in that you use it to generate a very high volume of output, initially without critical judgment. Critical judgment is essential, but bring it in later and separately, as a distinctly separate step. Some of that output may be throw-away, but some of it is valuable ideas and notions you might never have gotten to otherwise.

    Your rapid discourse without much repetition onto a note pad or computer keyboard if you type fast enough, as with telling it out loud to an audio tape or a live listener, quickly uses up all that you'd normally say in the context. The continued rapid-flow demand of your flow will force you to draw upon resources beyond your stock conscious knowledge.

    Force yourself to go on without pause or hesitation, force a vacuum into which can upwell some astonishing insights and relatings. Many of these will prove to be remarkably valid and original.

    The key is to flow and sustain that flow. Flow faster than you can stop to consciously think what should come next. You've got to keep pumping without letup in order to keep up a good head of vacuum pulling up previously unconsidered associations and data.

  2. Procedure of Freenoting: Keep that uncritical effective flow going, without let-up. Rapidly write or type without pause for 15-30 minutes, in the general context but without much concern as to whether what you are writing is indeed in the context.

    Don't edit. If it occurs to you, get it down on paper or into the computer, without hesitation, and keep going. Don't fear absurdity. Less of this output will be absurd than you might think! Some of what at first seems the most absurd will turn out to have some of the most original and valid elements of value somewhere embedded in it. In Brainstorming per se, facilitators and participants are advised to be alert for any idea which results in a burst of laughter because, so frequently, the most absurd idea turns out to be a genius-level superb idea in disguise, once examined.

    Don't repeat too much. Keep reaching for something different to say in the context. But don't hang up over whether you've said something before; there may be a new association there with that old point. If it comes to mind, say it, get it down, get it expressed and recorded.

    Freenote without concern as to something being correct or accurate. Get it all down where you can look at it. Do your editing later, maybe even your secretive shredding later, but definitely not during this torrential flow. Free up as completely as you can during these free-noting intervals to avoid editing your own thoughts and perceptions, by effusing as torrentially as possible.

    Your current ongoing perceptions will be somewhat more productive of fresh insights than is your stock of knowledge. We very much need knowledge, but we can't let that become static in a changing universe. Ongoing perception is our window on ever-evolving infinity. Lean your attention somewhat, without editing, toward your ongoing perceptions, especially your ongoing sensory impressions. This will be easier if you speak in present tense, even when relating past events or observations.

    Continue to write in this torrential outpouring for twenty to thirty minutes.

    Go through what you've written, and mark with a different color or with a *star* your 4-5 most interesting ideas.

    As you see, this takes a little longer than Windtunnel because speaking aloud to a live and meaningful listener is so much more effective, but Freenoting is something you can do any time in the privacy of your own desk, or in the anonymity of your own airline seat.

  3. Aftermath:Whichever one or both of these procedures you use, you have a new way of generating fresh insights and answers. How valuable these are to you are strictly a function of these four things:

    • What you notice and decide to use them on. 
    • How well you use them 
    • How well you can use them 
    • How often you practice them on real issues and challenges.
Discovering the Obvious is our main book of methods for solving problems, for innovating, inventing and for making original discoveries.

Also available from Project Renaissance:  all the newest and easiest methods of problem-solving, in the CoreBook, The Creative Problem-Solving Tool Kit.

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Win Wenger

You may freely copy and share this paper—in whole including the copyright notice but not in part—to share with people whom you care about.
See also — Image-Streaming for Groups

How to Image-StreamWhat you need is an external focus to describe your images to. A tape recorder with blank tape, or a simple Dictaphone like every office used to have, provides you a potential listener for that all-essential focus. Call in a friend, or phone to call up a friend and keep him or her on the line, and you have, even better, a live listener to serve as that external focus.

Of that half of you who did get an image, some found a strong, clear, definite image or set of images, while others just got a glimpse, a faint impression which you might think was hardly worth describing, or weren't certain whether you were just making up the idea rather than seeing an image --

— Yet whatever you got, the key is to examine and describe it aloud, in as rich detail as possible even if you feel at first as if you are "forcing" it and "making up" some of it to fill your description to your external focus listener. More, though, and more, will come as you describe — be alert to this happening, and describe the new impressions when they come. Your images will become rich and vivid and even their meanings — as Image-Stream contents are often symbolic or metaphoric — will start to become apparent.

That is Image-Streaming. Each full-flow Image-Streaming session should run from 10 to 30 minutes. Examine whatever images happen to be playing in your mind's eye at the time, while describing them in rich detail to a live or potential listener (person or tape recorder). Even minimum, trivial-seeming impressions or whatever: describe them in such richly textured detail as to force anyone listening to experience and see what you are describing. 10 to 20 minutes at a time, practice several hours of Image-Streaming and you will have mastered the basic skills needed to make other forms of visual thinking work for you. — And you will also have experienced some of the other benefits of Image-Streaming as well, including improved intellectual performance and creativity.

Even if your imagery is already clear and vivid, you will be astonished at how much more so it quickly becomes when you describe it in this way, while continuing to examine it. This improvement is even stronger if --

  1. You describe in as sensory-textured detail as possible. The major part of your brain that we want to bring on line, works with sensory images even in profoundly intellectual matters. Explanation takes you away from that sensory immediacy. Instead of saying, "I'm at the beach" or "This is Virginia Beach," detail instead the warmth of sand under your toes, the sound of surf, the smell of salt, the wheeling of the gulls above you in the almost-white sky, black and white of the gulls on that paler white far above you ....

  2. Describe as rapidly as you can, to get more and more detail in. Describe faster than you can stop to judge whether or not something is worth mentioning, just go ahead and flow it through (and see what comes with it). This is a kind of "brainstorm" only with description instead of ideas or answers, and has a similar rule to brainstorming's "if it occurs to you, express it!" Really rapid-flow describing exerts almost a Venturi force or suction pulling other perceptions into focus.

  3. All this is done most easily with eyes shut, so that your inner visual circuits aren't distracted away from these initially subtler signals, and so they can operate at full sensitivity. In other words, please keep eyes closed during such processing, in order to see more freely.

What If You Didn't Get Pictures?

We provide here a series of 24 back-up procedures, any one of which is pretty likely to help you to get pictures started. Once you do get any kind of impression at all started, "describe the dickens out of it," as if you were still looking at it even if it was but a fleeting glimpse or impression — and you will find more coming. — And more coming. — And more coming! 

Click here for a list of 24 tested back-up techniques to help start a flow of images

Please pursue whichever of the back-up procedures work for you, until you are able to do pure Image-Streaming. Most of them are forcing techniques, to get a flow of something started which, by describing it while you are examining it, will bring other perceptions on line until you find yourself working with actual and consciously undirected images. Once you achieve this, then please do log several hours of Image-Streaming, 10 to 30 minutes at a time.

If you did get pictures, these back-up procedures would only slow you down from getting your Image-Streaming accomplished (unless you are planning to teach it, in which case you'll want to be familiar with all the back-up techniques). It'd be better to go ahead and begin experiencing and practicing.

— What we call the "Ten/Ten Test" — if, after at least 10 minutes per day of Image-Streaming for at least ten days, you don't find your life positively and miraculously transformed, then ignore everything we've said and do something else instead. But if you do find Socratic and other miracles happening in your life, please do continue the practice of Image-Streaming: no matter how good things become, they can become even better for you! — Fair test?

Socratic miraclesContrary to recent general belief, virtually every human can quickly and readily learn to "get pictures" in his mind's eye, thus becoming able to do visual thinking. We have provided here, after the main Image-Streaming procedure above, some of the back-up procedures we now keep on hand to ensure that everyone "gets pictures" and becomes able to think visually. Thus, the benefits and advantages of visual thinking are widely available, not just to a fortunate few but to everyone who cares to make use of them!

(You are welcome freely to even teach Image-Streaming to others whom you care about, and even to replicate this paper — in whole to preserve context, but not in part, notwithstanding the copyright notice at the end of this paper — so long as you cite in each instance your source having been via Project Renaissance.)

Here, more perhaps than in any other context, we are looking at equal opportunity! You now have this information in your hands. You are virtually guaranteed success if you bother to learn and practice simple activities which, apparently, everyone can readily learn and practice! ( — And if you're tough enough to see through to application the unique discoveries you will be making!) Starting advantage, differences of birth, wealth, placement, schooling, even intelligence, can make little long-run difference compared to the advantages of simple sustained practice of these activities and your active resolve to see their results through to fruition.

There is some justice in the world.

And, indeed: once you've started examining your perceptions and detailing what you find in them, you are just as capable of Socratic miracles as anyone else!

Note, though, that for most people, for most purposes, these "back-up" procedures are a sidetrack — an admittedly somewhat entertaining sidetrack but a sidetrack nonetheless. For most of your Image-Streaming exploration experiences, once you've learned how to do so, should simply be to look in, see "what's playing there now," and to begin describing as you continue to examine what's currently "there."

— And in the nature of things, every one of the images you did get up, which was not an afterimage and which was not an object or set of objects that you decided beforehand to see but which came from "somewhere else besides where you were telling the story from" — EVERY such undirected image is full of message, pregnant with meaning, addressing some issue or key insight for you with your subtlest, most comprehensive resources which are, indeed, "brighter than we are" even though they are very much a part of you.

Decoding your images 

Although technical solutions and inventions often come in literal images, many important "messages" gotten from your subtler resources are metaphoric, symbolic, and that is why we now refer you to a few books, each of which presents you with extensive detailed instructions on how to decode these experiences, how to make sense of them, and how to develop your visual thinking skills within hours to the point where you can put questions and issues of all kinds to your inner faculties, instantly get images in response which answer them, and almost as instantly become able to understand and verify those answers!

One of those books, the one which Success Magazine liked so well it carried it for sale for three years, with several articles, is A Method For Personal Growth and Development, exploring many forms of application of Image-Streaming to creative solution-finding, all the way to the most advanced of all post-Einsteinian Discovery Technique, High Thinktank. The other, focussed more on technical and scientific discovery and inventing, and upon entrepreneurial innovation, is Discovering the Obvious:   Techniques of Original, Inspired Scientific Discovery, Technical Invention and Innovation.

That third strongly recommended book, Beyond Teaching And Learning, applies Image-Streaming and related techniques to eight major families of radically enhanced and accelerated learning and growth technique, some of which families have 50 or more specific methods associated with them. — Not all 50 are in the book, just a representative example or so from each family.

The most comprehensive and extensive of all our publications, a set of texts, tapes and equipment for a course titled The Beyond-Einstein Training, represents Project Renaissance's attempt to take most of the entire field to a yet higher level.

  • Win Wenger, Beyond Teaching And Learning, 2nd international edition. Singapore: Project Renaissance, 1992.

  • Win Wenger, A Method For Personal Growth and Development. Gaithersburg, MD: Project Renaissance, 3rd edition, 1991.

  • Sidney J. Parnes, Visionizing: State of the Art Processes for Encouraging Innovative Excellence. Buffalo, NY: Creative Education Foundation, 1988.

  • Win Wenger, Ph.D., Beyond O.K. — Psychegenic Tools Relating to Health of Body & Mind. Gaithersburg, MD: Psychegenics Press, 1979.

  • Win Wenger, Ph.D. Discovering the Obvious. Singapore, Project Renaissance, 1994. A special version is being published in the various democracies of the former Eastern bloc and in the underdeveloped countries, for use by common citizens there: Creating Wealth, For Yourself And For Others, In Countries Without Capital.

  • Wenger and Susan Wenger, Your Limitless Inventing Machine, 3rd edition, 3rd printing, Gaithersburg, MD: Psychegenics Press, 1981.

  • For a listing of other authors and programs which now teach our Image-Streaming procedure, please see Citings.

  • Cookbook recipe-like instructions, literally word-for-word until one gets used-enough to the procedure to improvise, provide how to train entire groups at a time, numbering as many as several hundred participants. Two different group-training scripts were originally published in Beyond Teaching And Learning and in A Method For Personal Growth and Development. Both are now published here online: Image-Streaming for Groups.

  • The Principle of Re-Investment of Methods, as in our Toolbuilder method. We seem to be the first to apply this key principle. We've been applying it relentlessly since the late 1960s. The principle runs thus:   IF you have a good method for solving problems, one of its best uses is on the problem of how to create better methods of solving problems! — And one of the best uses of those better methods is on the problem of how to create even better methods of solving problems! Keep on re-investing your methods into creating better methods, and after awhile you'll be hitting into some pretty heavy-duty systems. We have done so. We are doing so. Our intent is, for so long as we draw breath, to use the best of what we've found in search of yet better. If other programs can be persuaded into a similar self-instructive search, things could get pretty interesting!

Further Reading

An expanded discussion of the Image-Streaming process is also contained in these quickbooks,

the entire texts of which are now available on this website.The books listed below expand on these techniques and on other strategy elements, and they set forth the foundations for Image-Streaming and other intelligence-enhancing processes developed by Project Renaissance. They are described in some depth in the Book Reviews section, where you can also order them, and many others.

Important References

 Back-Up Procedures — 24 ways to get pictures started   

Image-Streaming for Groups — two main methods

 Image-Streaming in brief — a summary for quick reference

 Dream Realms — applied Image-Streaming by Michael Campbell

 Feedback 1 | Feedback 2 — What Readers Say

Comments to:
Win Wenger

This brief may be freely copied—in whole, but not in part, including its copyright notice—for use with people whom you care about.
Two systems of thought and perception, through history, have been associated with, and have brought about, very high levels of mental, intellectual and aesthetic performance and experience—the human mind functioning at its finest. These two systems are known today as Socratic Method and Einsteinian "Deep Thought Experiment."

In the Project Renaissance program, and in most Project Renaissance publications, these two systems are combined into far more productive and powerful wholes that are far easier to use than is either method separately.

In this section of the Project Renaissance website we provide you with free, comprehensive, step-by-step instructions for learning and practicing several of these problem-solving techniques. In-depth studies of these subjects are also available in our books. See the Book Reviews section.

Einsteinian "Deep Thought Experiment" Discovery Technique
Some researchers credit 90 to 95% of the major discoveries made during the past two centuries to Einstein-style visual thinking, though the method became public only in the 1930s and 1940s when Albert Einstein popularized it. Examples:

 Kekule's doze about a circle of tail-to-mouth snakes in his fireplace taught him the structure of the benzine ring, basis of all organic chemistry.

 Elias Howe's nightmare of cannibals attacking, whose spears happened to have holes in their heads, gave him his aha! for the long-sought sewing machine.

 Niccola Tesla's in-head visual predictions gave us part of an entire major industry and way of life.

 And, of course, it was Einstein's "train ride on a beam of light" which taught him—and us—his theories of Relativity which remade the whole of physics and helped remake the whole of science.

Einstein's method antedated him by centuries and may have been invented in Renaissance times. Einstein, however, was first to openly advocate, practice and popularize the method of running a visualization and observing it closely to see what one can discover from it.

His method had some drawbacks, however. It required a personal discipline which seems to be beyond the immediate reach of most people; and, like recording a dream before it fades, it was too easy to lose the details of what happened by the time one came back from the experience to tell about it.

Once we add another system, though, combining Socratic Method with the Einsteinian, matters become very different. We have many new systems, most of which can be used easily, effectively, and productively by virtually everyone, whatever his/her current level of intellect and of personal discipline, or lack thereof.

Socratic Method

This name is given to any technique which induces the learner to examine his/her internal and external perceptions and to describe in detail what s/he discovers there: Describe anything in detail while you are examining it—describe it aloud, to a listener, and, while examining, describe what you are perceiving, and you will discover more and more and more about what you are describing.

 This Principle of Description is the operating instruction for how to realize Walt Whitman's dictum, that if you observe closely enough even an ordinary blade of grass, you will discover the universe. Whitman's dictum was more than metaphor; it is literal, provided that you describe in enough detail to your listener while you are looking very closely.....

 Fully as significant as this effect on particular perceptions is the effect of such describing on the behavior of perceiving and on the perceiver himself. For example:

A method popular in Europe for training ordinary people into being sophisticated, sensitive winetasters or perfume testers, is: to provide that person a sample, and he is to describe rapid-fire everything that comes into mind, for some minutes. Then another sample, and again he describes rapid-fire for some minutes everything that comes to mind or awareness or imagination. Then a third sample.... Keep up three days of this activity, sustained, and reportedly that ordinary person has developed the sensitivities of a professional perfume tester or wine taster.
The first schools in our Western cultural tradition were those of ancient Greece. Those schools were not for the purpose of benefitting students, nor even to promulgate a particular "school of thought." Their main purpose was to provide the leading thinkers and perceivers with quality audiences to whom to describe their perceptions, in order to develop those perceptions even further. The Sophists and especially Socrates would return this favor and draw out their listeners in turn. Their doing so, and the various ways they did so, became known as "Socratic Method."

For 2200 years, classical Socratic Method induced the learner to examine his internal and external perceptions and to describe what he discovered there. Historically, this practice was always accompanied by such huge miracle leaps of perception, understanding and growth that all its main practitioners became convinced that all knowledge and understanding are already within each learner and need merely be "drawn forth." This "Socratic miracle" was frequent enough for the "drawing-forth" theory to have such currency that, for 2200 years, "education" itself became named after that idea—"educare" means "to draw forth."

During those 2200 Socratic years, from a population base of but a few thousand citizens—most of whom soldiered or sold olives or politicked or followed other such interests and pursuits—nonetheless, Classical Greece produced more cultural giants and geniuses than have all of Earth's 5 billion people during this past half-century.

Likewise, from a population base of but a few hundred thousand citizens allowed access to culture-related ways of living, Renaissance Europe radically out-produced our 5 billion in geniuses and cultural giants. But then, we are no longer on Socratic education but on didactic teaching.

The drawback of the classical Socratic method, with its acute questioning of 1 to 2 students, or fierce argument with maybe a half-dozen, was that it could be practiced with only a few at a time while the remainder of a large group or class grew restless. Yet any procedure which has people examine their perceptions and describe at length, in detail, what they discover there, creates the Socratic miracle effect.

Surprisingly, many of the modern versions of Socratic Method work better the more students or participants there are at a time in a group. Hundreds of such techniques have now been published, most of them by Project Renaissance, and with most of these, with a mere tape recorder if live listeners aren't close to hand, any individual who can read and follow specific printed instructions can evoke Socratic miracle effects for himself or herself. Yet we've gone even a step further than that.....

The combination of Einsteinian and Socratic Methods

By combining Einsteinian and Socratic methods, Project Renaissance has given rise to many forms of modern Post-Einsteinian Discovery Technique, most of these currently found in the Project Renaissance program but a few also beginning to show up elsewhere.

In these modern combinations of the two systems, we perform Einstein-like "Deep Thought Experiments" but describe our perceptions aloud, in detail, a la Socrates, while we are observing them. This simple act brings an amazing wealth of further details and perceptions that often lead to fresh discoveries even upon first use of the technique.

Further differences: We deliberately program for the unexpected, the Surprise!!to happen in these experiences. This improves accuracy by helping us move beyond the "ought-to-be" expectations which stand between us and the fresh perceptions we need for ingenious, creative answers. The whole point of either Einsteinian or Socratic approach is to enable our subtler, richer faculties to show us what we ordinarily would fail to see and which is the answer to our quest, question or line of investigation.

Applications of these combinations can serve everywhere, in every field and discipline and in all areas of personal life as well. Project Renaissance's applications in creative solution-finding and in self-help are but the barest beginnings of what looks to be an entire new Renaissance breaking upon us!

Contact:  Project Renaissance
PO Box 332, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-0332  - Tel: 301-948-1122